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China ex-minister seeks no execution pledge: report BEIJING: A Chinese former minister facing corruption charges involving millions of dollars changed lawyers after his attorney could not guarantee he would escape execution for his crimes, media reported Thursday.Former railways minister Liu Zhijun has been accused of bribery and abuse of power, the official Xinhua news agency said Wednesday, without giving details of the charges."He asked me to guarantee that he would not face the death penalty, but I couldn't do that," Liu's family lawyer Gao Zicheng was quoted by the Beijing Times newspaper as saying.Liu later decided to use a different legal representative, the report said, adding that he was accused of taking bribes worth 60 million yuan ($9.7 million) linked to rail construction projects.The minister allegedly collaborated with railway supplier Ding Shumiao, who is said to be a close friend, to generate "illegal profits" worth three billion yuan, the report said.Under Chinese criminal law, the death penalty ...

5.8 quake rocks northern Philippines: USGS MANILA: A moderate 5.8-magnitude earthquake struck the Batan Islands region of the northern Philippines Thursday, seismologists said, but no tsunami warning was issued.The quake hit at 4:20 am (2020 GMT Wednesday) at a shallow depth of just 4.2 kilometres (2.6 miles), 29 km east of Itbayat, the US Geological Survey said. The USGS initially measured the quake at 6.1.The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology said the quake was felt in some parts of the ...
Australian jobless rate rises to 5.6 percent SYDNEY: Australia's jobless rate jumped 0.2 percentage points to 5.6 percent in March with 36,100 fewer people employed, following a sharp rise in positions created the previous month.The Australian Bureau of Statistics said the unemployment rate was up from 5.4 percent, defying analysts, who had broadly tipped the rate to remain steady.The number of jobs lost, seasonally adjusted, was nearly half the upwardly revised 74,000 gained in February, a result that was a near 13-year ...
China targets bird flu rumours as cases rise SHANGHAI: China has detained at least a dozen people for spreading false rumours about bird flu, police statements showed Wednesday, with authorities seeking to control "panic" as the number of cases rose to 33.There have been nine deaths since China announced over a week ago that the H7N9 strain of avian influenza had been found in humans for the first time.Local governments announced five new cases, but state media also reported a four-year-old boy in ...
Thatcher made 'racist' comments: Australian FM Carr SYDNEY: Australian Foreign Minister Bob Carr says late British leader Margaret Thatcher made "unabashedly racist" comments, recalling what she allegedly said to him about Asian immigration after she left office.Carr said the conservative "Iron Lady", who died in London on Monday, had told him Australia could end up like Fiji "where the Indian migrants have taken over".While Labor stalwart Carr, who has a Malaysian-born wife, said he respected Thatcher for the boldness of her political ...
South Korea raises alert before expected North Korea missile test SEOUL: South Korea raised its military watch alert to "vital threat" Wednesday before an expected North Korean missile launch, as UN chief Ban Ki-moon warned the Korean peninsula may be slipping out of control.The North last week, told foreign diplomats in Pyongyang they had until April 10 to consider evacuation, fuelling speculation a launch was planned between Wednesday and the April 15 birthday celebrations for late founder Kim Il-Sung.South Korean intelligence says the North has ...
South Korea jobless rate falls in March SEOUL: South Korea's unemployment rate fell in March after a number of job seekers left the market for further education or stopped looking for work, state data showed Wednesday. The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate stood at 3.2 percent in March, compared with 3.5 percent in February and 3.4 percent a year ago, state-run Statistics Korea said.Unadjusted, the jobless rate was 3.5 percent in March, down from 4.0 percent in February.The state agency said the number ...

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ICT 2014

Foreign Debt $61.805bn
Per Cap Income $1,386
GDP Growth 4.14%
Average CPI 8.6%
Trade Balance $-1.703 bln
Exports $2.156 bln
Imports $3.859 bln
WeeklyFebruary 26, 2015
Reserves $16.137 bln